Episode 8: Literary Agent and Publishing Consultant, Alexandra Adsett

INTRO

Leah Alysandratos (FAME Careers and Sponsorship Coordinator): Hello and welcome to the FAME Law Students’ Association’s podcast: The Brief. For the uninitiated, FAME sands for the Film, Art, Media, and Entertainment. The FAME LSA is a group of students from Melbourne Law School who are passionate about the arts and culture.

In this podcast series, we chat with lawyers and artists working in the creative industries, learning about their daily work, career development, and topical issues facing the industry.

In today’s episode, we chat to Alexandra Adsett, a Literary Agent and Publishing Consultant. She tells us the story of how she learnt to follow her dreams as a lover of books and writing, and teaches us not to be afraid of risks. She provides a fresh and unique perspective about how to navigate feeling unsure about your career prospects, learning to trust your gut when taking new adventures, and choosing your happiness first. Incredibly insightful of a completely different career path not often spoken about, being able to chat to Alexandra and be opened to the   prospects of the publishing and literary industry was nothing short of fascinating. As such, we hope you enjoy this episode.

Xiao-Xiao (FAME Ambassador): Welcome back to the Brief! My name is Xiao-Xiao Kingham and I am a FAME ambassador and today I’m here with Alex Adsett, literary agent and publishing consultant. How are you Alex? 

Alex: I’m good, thanks! Thanks for having me.

Xiao-Xiao: That’s great, we’re so glad to have you on. I guess we can jump right into it. Firstly, how did you become a literary agent and publishing consultant?

Alex: Okay, that’s a big question. I’ve been in the publishing industry 25 years now if you count my bookselling career, which I do. But because this has a law focus, law and the arts, I guess I started… I got into arts law at the University of Queensland ages ago and all I ever wanted to do was this subject I heard about which focused on science fiction and fantasy which I found out about in Year 9 and it became my life mission to get to university and do this one subject. I had no other ambition apart from this. And then I got the marks to get into Arts Law and then I thought, ‘Oh I may as well do law until I fail.’ And then five years later I hadn’t actually failed, I came out with a law degree. I figured, I actually found I really loved the study of law. I didn’t ever want to be a lawyer but I loved the intellectual rigour of it, I loved debating with people. I loved the argumentativeness. 

But in third year university, I always thought I would become a writer because that’s what mad readers do. There weren’t a lot of career paths for mad readers. In my third year of university an author came in and talked to the class about being a writer and I suddenly had two lightbulb moments. One was to be a writer you actually need to write, and I realised I wasn’t doing that! So maybe I wasn’t a writer. But also in the same talk the author gave this throwaway comment about her publisher and it honestly, that was the moment which changed my life because I realised that even though at this stage I was working at a bookstore, there was a whole career out there, of people and the industry of people who made books happen. And that is suddenly something I wanted to do with my life. At the end of third year arts law I took myself off to London and began applying for jobs in publishing in London while working… I got a job in the bookstore but applied for jobs, it took me six months to get my foot in the door at Simon & Schuster in London. And again it was a dream come true, it was a world of terribly paid people who’d love books, who got up in the morning and talked books all day and went to the pub at night because that’s London. And it’s what I wanted to do, I was so happy. But after three years there I really wanted to go back to Australia, finish my law degree and finish off some of those things before going back into publishing, that was the plan. 

But I found actually… and even though when I came back I was doing copyright law, I was focusing on more big picture publishing, comparative law and was loving it, I still didn’t really want to become a lawyer. But i ended up doing my PLT course, I ended up getting admitted again, you know. And the law is quite seductive in that way when you’re on a path with a bunch of other people who are very passionate about it, you start to question, ‘Oh maybe I should give it a go for a few years, maybe I should just go and be a lawyer.’ And I ended up becoming an associate to a Federal Magistrate for the worst five months of my life, and there was a real crossroads at this point where I was like, ‘Do I go into the law even though it’s something I never wanted to do?’ I felt like I should for some reason. Or do I go back to my love which is publishing. And I ended up getting a job at Penguin books in Melbourne, so I moved down from Brisbane down to Melbourne, and again, dream come true because my job down there was in rights and contracts and this was the bit of publishing that I found I really loved, even though I loved the whole industry. Because this was the bit where I was help – well I wasn’t helping, I was negotiating with authors for their contracts, I was drafting the contracts, I was doing some of the fiddly things, I was playing around with copyright and even though I was still a junior in the company, and I had this whole law degree behind me that sort of backed up and bolstered my knowledge, everything really practical day to day I learnt on the job at Penguin. My boss at Penguin was this terrifying but amazing woman called Peg who had never studied law, no law degree, but had been in the publishing industry doing contracts for a good 30 years. And there was nothing she didn’t know about publishing contracts. And learning from her was just the most incredible experience.

So I worked in Penguin for three years doing this job and kept missing the sunshine of Queensland. So I ended up moving back to Queenslaand and I got a job at Wiley, so they’re an academic and trade publisher. And I was contracts manager at Wiley. But the part of the industry I really loved, the trade bookselling, was sort of Sydney, Melbourne, London or New York. Those were the options if I wanted to be in the mix of it. So living in Brisbane, even though I had a publishing job, I actually started my own consultancy at the same time, helping authors who didn’t have an agent negotiate their contracts. So that was my side-business that started off really slowly – like one client a month. And then two clients a month. And then two clients a week. And then, you know, it started building to the point that I left my full time job in Wiley but my business was not big enough to support me. So, looking around I was like, well maybe now is the time to use my law degree and I ended up getting a 3 day a week as a lawyer for the first actual time as a lawyer with a practicing certificate for an in-house government organisation. And that again was a learning curve because… sorry I’m talking a real lot here, stop me.

Xiao-Xiao: No! Believe me, it’s fascinating.

Alex: And it’s because it was the first time I had a practicing certificate I’d really built up this idea of being a lawyer was something different and scary and I wasn’t good enough for it and then once I was doing this job for three days a week while following my passion the rest of the time I actually realised, ‘Oh look there’s actually not a lot of difference being an in-house lawyer with a practicing certificate then there is being a contracts manager for a publishing company,’ you know, because it’s negotiating, its contract, it’s getting your head around thorny issues. So it was really good to have done it, it was a really good experience and more than anything it gave me that boost of confidence to say, ‘Oh you know I can do this as well.’ But as my business, my consultancy business and literary agency grew, I went from a three day a week job as a lawyer to a two day a week job as a lawyer and I was really trying to work out if I could do one day a week and I ended up leaving all my corporate jobs. So for the past three years I’ve been a full time agent and consultant, and that’s I guess how I ended up in the position I’m in now!

Xiao-Xiao: Wow! That is the quite a history there.

Alex: My career!

Xiao-Xiao: Yeah! In a nutshell.

Alex: Wow, guys, that was a lot of talking.

Xiao-Xiao: No! We love it. It’s… I can’t believe how many different steps you’ve taken to get to where you are today and you’ve touched on so many different areas, I mean, your whole experience in the UK sounds a bit like a dream. Bookselling, a bit of publishing and working at Penguin, I don’t think a lot of people can say they’ve done that.

Alex: No, and it was Penguin when it was still Penguin. It’s not Penguin anymore, it’s Penguin Random House. So I’ve got in on the last few years when it was still one organisation. A lot of my jobs have been a dream and this is… there’s this thing that you shouldn’t really say you’re lucky but there’s a lot of luck involved. But you know, not just luck, it’s hard work and putting yourself out there and there is taking risks, you know the safe path would’ve been to go off and be a lawyer, the safe path would’ve been to stick one job and work in house. But there’s ways of keeping some sort of safety and having a part-time job is a nice safety net to have while following career paths in other ways and following your passion, but I keep looking back and I love what I do and i’m so passionate about my industry and I love also being my own boss now, it’s great. But I think if I had followed the same path, I would’ve probably been a lot more financially secure but I would’ve been miserable. And obviously not everyone would’ve been miserable but I would’ve been. I would’ve been so unhappy doing the normal thing. So while it’s sometimes been a little scary to jump off, even in my secure safety net in a way… while that’s still been scary, it would’ve been scarier to be stuck in a career I didn’t love.

Xiao-Xiao: Absolutely, well I think that’s such a great message for a lot of our listeners that safety isn’t always the best thing and you really have to go for things in order to get where you want to go.

Alex: And you know what, safety can sometimes be a bit of an illusion. Particularly we’ve seen this over the pandemic, I’ve looked around at friends in safe jobs, or you know, with bosses who pay their bills, who actually get a salary every month, which is really nice to get a salary every month, but that can also get snatched away from you, there can be redundancies, there can be companies that go out of business, things change, the world is not a safe place. While there is a lot of insecurity being your own boss and working for yourself, no one can take that away from me as well. Like even if I have to go off and end up getting… a you know, a job in a cafe or something to support myself, no one can take away my business because it is mine. And that gives me actually a safety net in terms of identity and career meaning that is almost, to me, invaluable.

Xiao-Xiao: Absolutely, I’m sure a lot of people strive for that and that connects with the question, in working for yourself, and I noticed earlier you said you love being your own boss, what exactly does that involve? I’m sure the safety net is a large part of it and a really great aspect of it.

Alex: Well…. A bit. There’s not a lot of safety net in working for yourself, except no one can take it away from you. Maybe I’m looking for a silver lining. Being an agent, or being in the publishing industry, you know you work with books and authors, being an agent in the publishing industry is a little side bubble of a job and my role is to sit between the authors and the publishers. Ostensibly, my job is to read hundreds and hundreds of bad manuscripts in order to find the good manuscripts and good authors and then when I find a good author or an author I really click with and work with, I take them on and then it’s my job to find the right publisher for them. So that’s officially what the job is but in reality the manuscript reading part of it gets really squished to the side, so I’m reading manuscripts at 11:30 on a Friday night, at 2 in the morning, at you know, Sunday afternoon. The manuscript reading part is very much squished because the rest of the job is taking care of the authors, it’s negotiating their contracts, it’s putting out fires, it’s talking them off ledges, it’s going into battle against the publisher if the publisher’s not doing the right thing. It’s millions and millions of emails. It’s also fun things like having coffee with publishers, having lunch with film producers, having, you know, Hollywood meetings, like that’s  the glamorous part of it, which is a very small part of it as well but… It’s going to launch parties and helping promote books that you love that are my books or just books, because I’m still a mad reader after 30 years, just raving about books that I’ve fallen in love with. So it is a job that I think matters because on a one on one level I’m helping make authors’ lives better and building their careers and on a big picture level I’m helping promote an arts industry and the importance of books to make a difference in the world. Whether that’s a romance book making somebody’s day better or a book that you know very deeply talking about the importance of press freedom or it’s a book talking about race and feminism, you know, these are books that can make a difference in the world.

Xiao-Xiao: And that’s so important, that’s why we desperately need books in the market. 

Alex: Yes!

Xiao-Xiao: Well, I mean… you touched on this earlier but your love for the creative industry, how did you find that compared against your work and the commercial law firms or that aspect to it, how does that work against your work in the publishing industry? 

Alex: Yeah, so every time I’ve had a job not in the publishing industry it’s really struck me… the lack of passion? I guess, in people? Like, I’m an enthusiastic person and I try to bring professionalism and a quality of work to whatever job you do, I certainly notice that I don’t bring the same passion and enthusiasm to water law or leasing arrangements as I do to a publishing contract. But one of the things I love about the publishing industry is you’re there because you love it, you know, if you’re there for the money you quickly get out because there isn’t much. But the law particularly attracts people who do love it and are passionate about it, particularly in areas of refugees and the arts and mental health and things like this, you do get people who very much are passionate about these topics and come for that reason.

But the law in general, because you know it is a career that can pay well, does attract people for the prestige, forthe money and that can be a trap I see. People either fall into that and start believing that’s all there is to a life, and if that makes you happy that’s fine. But there’s also people, and this has happened to friends of mine, they’ll go into the law thinking, ‘I’m going to do this for five or ten years, and I’ll build up a nest egg and then I’ll go follow my passion.’ But once you’re in that world it’s so hard to break out of and everytime I find myself in one of those roles I find myself thinking, ‘Oh I don’t want to get trapped’, and I start feeling enclosed. And I’m so grateful again that I have that passion on the side that I’m never going to let go of. So those for me are some of the differences. I’ve got friends in banking law, high up in banking law, who… it drives them bonkers how laissez faire about some aspects of contracting and you know – cause that’s the publishing industry and the arts. But then my trying to bring some rigour to contracts and contracting drives authors and publishers bonkers, because from their point of view I’m far too rigorous and too strict. So you have this whole spectrum of people who are trying to do contracting well but their definition of what is a good contract and what is a good clause.

Xiao-Xiao: Yeah, so just extending on that, how often do you find yourself encountering these legal aspects of things in your day to day life as a literary agent?

Alex: Oh! That is actually, that is my life. Within the publishing industry my role is not only to negotiate contracts for my authors as an agent but as a publishing consultant I help authors who don’t have an agent negotiate their contracts and in the publishing industry there is only… I’m the only agent-y person who does that and also the Australian Society of Authors have a contract service for authors who don’t have an agent as well. So there is the ASA and me and a handful of publishing lawyers who do this contracting service. So from that point of view, I’m almost it for helping authors negotiate contracts so I’m very much there. And I drive some publishers crazy, some I think have learnt to work with me, some can recognise that it’s me doing the negotiating even if I’m not the one talking to them because of the clauses that I asked changed. The authors will go in to negotiate and the publishers will go, ‘Oh, you’ve been talking to Alex,’ because I definitely am always asking for certain things that I feel are important that maybe no one else does. 

Xiao-Xiao: Very important role indeed, it seems.

Alex: I think so! Look, there are publishers out there who think I’m being too legalistic and that’s fine but they will still work with me and respect the work and often years later it will turn out to be indicated that the clauses that we put in place really did end up protecting the author in a big way. There are some publishers which I actually find, you know, disreputable in terms of they can be dismissive and actually try to talk the authors out of getting any advice at all. They’ll try to say look it doesn’t matter, there’s no point negotiating this, ‘Oh of course I would never act like that!’ Well if you’re never going to act like that, why don’t we change the clause to reflect that? So the more they object to someone coming in and negotiating with them, the more that starts to ring alarm bells. And a little bit of that is fine because the publishing industry is generally a good industry and to a certain point you’re right as in there’s very little litigation in the publishing industry it’s generally worked out in conversation and you talk issues through. But still the importance of having a really strong contract particularly when you’re dealing with a publisher who’s a million dollar company is so important for one little author to negotiate at the beginning where they have no chance of doing that at the end of the process.

Xiao-Xiao: Absolutely, and that’s so important I guess, protecting our creators especially in wake of the pandemic where a lot of people have been really suffering as a result of it and have seen the creative industry become a bit more stagnant. So it’s really great that you’re there to protect them and fight for the little guy, so to speak. 

Drawing on an earlier point, it’s so good to hear that you broke free of this commercial side of things. FAME is obviously an association designed to support law students who care about the creative industries and want to work in there in some respects and I’m sure a lot of our listeners really related to you in that they didn’t necessarily or don’t necessarily want to work in more traditional legal fields. Do you have any advice for these students, or even more specifically, those who wish to work in book publishing?

Alex: One thing is like, I volunteered in Arts Law, Arts Law Queensland when it existed and now it’s Arts Law nationally. So any law students who are interested in the Arts I do recommend volunteering with Arts-Law if they have openings. Finish your law degree I think, for all that I’m very dismissive…. Not dismissive I’m, I warn law students of the seductiveness of a career in the law of it, it kind of drags you in and pulls you in of just one more thing, one more thing. So be careful of that but still finish your degree, it’s a great degree to do and I guess over my career people, people outside law really respect law degrees. So it’s easy kudos, well it’s not easy to do a law degree, but people outside of the law respect it and it very much helps in terms of self confidence because when I’m negotiating, particularly as a woman, you go in and you can negotiate and sometimes older men are very condescending. Like, ‘Oh I don’t think that clause means what you’re saying it means,’ or, ‘Don’t worry yourself about that, that would never happen.’ And then you get to go in and go, ‘Well excuse me, I have this many years experience, I have a law degree, I have done this. The clause means exactly what I’m saying it means and I want to protect my author from it.’ Having that to back you up really helps. 

But if, once you finish your studies, you’re looking for a career in the arts, throw yourself in as well. So not just volunteering at Arts Law but volunteer at your local writers festival, get involved in podcasts, start reviews, you know, getting a job in a bookstore is a really great first step. There are post-grad degrees you can do to get into the arts, to get into publishing. They can be hard to get into and they can definitely help because it is a hard industry to get into because there are a lot of people, happily, who want careers that they love and work in an industry that they’re passionate about. So you can do some of the post-grad things but also really get involved. Go along to book launches with your favourite authors, get on social media and get yourself involved in debates and conversation about the books that you love. It’s an industry that can be hard to break into but we’re all so open to people who are passionate about reading so throw yourself into it and find yourself a tribe is hugely important I think, and fun! The thing is at the end of the day if it takes you years to get into it and you end up following some other rabbit hole of passion, and that’s wonderful as well, but the more you throw yourself into it the more you will find your tribe and that is a really rich and rewarding things in and of itself.

Xiao-Xiao: Yeah well get involved, I guess that’s kind of the core message there which-

Alex: Yeah

Xiao-Xiao: -which, is great since I’m sure anyone who’s really invested in books and book publishing surely it’ll be quite easy to try to attend these lovely book launches and meet authors, which is such a great experience to have, truly.

Alex: And read! Buy books because if we don’t have a bookselling industry we’re not going to have a publishing industry.

Xiao-Xiao: Support booksellers!

Alex: Yes, buy books! But also going to launches, gosh, one of the good and bad things of covid is that a lot of book launches have moved online, onto zoom. So it takes nothing to just jump on and while you’re cooking dinner be part of a launch and listen to the questions that are being asked and pay attention to the publishers who are also attending. Yeah its, in some ways, in many ways it’s become so much harder to connect in real life in the industry and yet doors have opened because we have moved to zoom for so much and so many events. So yeah, get involved.

Xiao-Xiao: Absolutely, just as a sidetrack perhaps, do you think the covid pandemic has taken a big hit for better or for worse in publishing?

Alex: Oh… big question. In Australia it’s really hurt any debut authors. So any authors who’ve come out in the last 12-18 months. Apart from a couple of examples where there have been breakthrough successes, new authors have really struggled, they’ve really taken a hit. But more generally though, book sales are up and publishers are doing quite well. So people are reading more during the pandemic, they are buying more books, it’s just the books they’re buying are the word of mouth books, the award-winners so the books that have already generated a certain level of buzz which is why the new authors are really hurting. So if anyone really wants to help here go out and find a debut author that’s released their first book in the last 18 months and buy it. I can give you a booklist! 

That’s Australia though, our industry is still ticking quite well. Overseas though, they’re really hurting, they’ve taken such a bigger hit than we have. Like talking to colleagues in America and the UK and all through Europe it’s a huge struggle because their bookshops have been closed for so much longer and more people have been buying online, you’ve got publishers sitting at home in very small apartments, they’re not up and running yet whereas we here are. And my heart’s breaking for colleagues overseas for one thing but also on a really selfish level, the Australian publishing industry does generate a lot of its income by selling rights overseas. So a big part of what I do as an agent is try to sell my books, once I’ve sold them in Australia I’ll try to sell them in the US or the UK, sell them into China and Europe, translate them in Europe. And because all of those industries at the moment feel like they’re almost on their knees, that’s harder for us to sell our Australian books overseas.

Xiao-Xiao: Absolutely, well that’s fascinating and so disheartening to hear that this international scene is taking a bigger hit. Well, hopefully we’ll get up and running in no time.

Alex: I know, I hope so. I hope we get back to getting international book fairs, I hope we get back to travelling in terms of those meetings and selling rights, yeah. Globally, I think it’s really tough at the moment but we’re so lucky in Australia that our industry is ticking over quite nicely.

Xiao-Xiao: Yeah! Well that’s good to hear at least and sorry for that side-ball question!

Alex: No, no! I mean it’s a great question and it’s something that we’re all sort of, our whole industry’s kind of grappling with at the moment.

Xiao-Xiao: Yes, absolutely. Well then, what are some of the challenges and highlights in your career as a literary agent, can I ask?

Alex: Yeah, I mean challenges… the lack of money I guess in the publishing industry, it’s not a lucrative career and part of that is because so many people want to work there, the industry itself can get away with not paying that much. The tyranny of distance is a big one. So I’m up in Queensland whereas most of my publishing colleagues are in Sydney and in Melbourne. And I couldn’t do that unless I had worked in Melbourne for many years first and to get those contacts. But also when I really started my business in a big way up here, it was also the start of social media as well. So a big part of how I stay connected is through social media. So I actually quite like the isolation being up here because it means I can connect online, I can fly down for events, back when we could fly, and then I can come back to the sunshine and beaches of Queensland and actually do my work. 

The competing, in terms of challenges, the competing with other forms of media are tough, so competing with Netflix and with people going online and spending time on Tiktok instead of reading a book but that’s life, that’s the competition that we’re always going to have. And a huge challenge facing the industry is a lack of diversity and that’s something I think we’re really trying to grapple with at the moment, finally. Overdue. But that’s both in terms of the diversity of the authors being published but also more than anything the people in the publishing houses. It is vastly, you know, white, as white middle-class as an industry and we’re trying… Australia’s lagging so far behind the UK in this in terms of trying to build diversity in the industry but it is something that at least publishishers are looking at now so… It’s still problematic and it’s difficult but we’re trying I think is the message there in terms of diversity.

Xiao-Xiao: Absolutely and it’s so great, I feel like during the past year, especially in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter discourse last year, I feel like perhaps we’re seeing more interest in these books that touch on diversity. I know your own White Tears, Brown Scars that you worked on like that’s a really fascinating one and it’s so great to see so much more interest in this and own voice writers, which are so important.

Alex: I know and look, it is a passion of mine because I know how privileged I am, being a white middle-class woman in this industry, to try to find voices that are amazing and haven’t been represented well and I’m so proud of having some of the best authors of colour in Australia. Like I represent Lisa Fuller who is an incredible indigenous author of Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, I’ve got Melissa Lucashenko, Dave Hartley, yeah. I’m just so proud of my authors.

Xiao-Xiao: Oh I loved Ghost Bird!

Alex: Ugh, isn’t it amazing?

Xiao-Xiao It really is, yeah. I guess that connects to, were there any particular projects that you’ve worked on that have been especially memorable for you at all?

Alex: Oh, I mean I’m passionate about all my books! Ghost Bird though is one, I wasn’t the agent when that first got published but that’s… and this is what I do as a mad reader. If I find a book that I absolutely fall in love with, I stalk the author and I make the author be friends with me and then I maybe sometimes convince them, if they don’t have an agent that maybe they want an agent. That maybe they don’t need an agent but if they do need an agent maybe I should be that agent. And that’s what I did with poor Lisa, she didn’t stand a chance. I was very passionate about that book, so now I’m her agent.

But one of the project books that I’ve done it’s by Trent Jamieson, illustrated by Rovina Cai. So it’s a picture book, it’s called the Giant and the Sea and it’s just gorgeous. Rovina is one of the most talented illustrators we have in Australia, she’s just genius and Trent Jamieson is a dear friend, very well respected award-winning science fiction, fantasy writer and this was his first picture book. So it’s got themes of climate change, themes of resilience and courage, a little bit of science fiction and then with Rovina’s illustrations this book took years. We had to wait for Rovina to have an available slot to do the illustrations for it and it’s come out and I’m just so proud of a book like this.

Xiao-Xiao: It’s beautiful.

Alex: And all of my books, like we’ve just had a book called The Beautiful Fall by Hugh Breakey published about love and identity and memory loss, yeah. I’ve got a crime book coming out by an author called Dinuka McKenzie in February that’s just, you know, brilliant. I don’t know, I love books I get very excited by all of them!

Xiao-Xiao: I don’t blame you! Those are some really great ones to look out for… I mean, the Boy, the Giant just behind you is a gorgeous one, the illustrations ugh! Really lovely. That’s so great to hear, I think that really wraps it up! Just to end everything though, do you have any favourite TV shows, movies or books you’d like to recommend?

Alex: All of them! Okay, so I’ve currently just finished the most incredible book and this has got to be one of the biggest perks of the industry is that I sometimes convince publishers and booksellers to let me have the early copies that come in. So I’ve just read an early copy of the new Naomi Novik it’s called Scholomance, book 2 in the Scholomance series. It has just blown my mind, I love it. So if everyone’s a Naomi Novik fan, go read book 1 in the Scholomance series because it’s amazing. 

I don’t watch as much TV as I used to because really my life has tunnel visioned down to books and I’m not saying it’s a good thing but I’m currently obsessed with the BBC series ‘A Discovery of Witches’. I didn’t actually love the books but the tv series is just gorgeous, it’s a vampire witch romance thing and it’s terrible but also brilliant. Huge crush on the main actors, so that’s what I’ve been watching obsessively is this vampire-witch romance tv series.

Xiao-Xiao: Sounds good!

Alex: But if that’s what you want, if you need some escapism, beautiful, pretty, romantic escapism, I can highly recommend it.

Xiao-Xiao: I feel like that’s something that people will need… and you don’t usually hear movies- oh TV shows being better than the books, that’s unusual!

Alex: Yes, I know! I could not stand the books but it’s a huge bestseller so many many people out there do love the series of books, yeah.

Xiao-Xiao: There we go! Naomi Novik and A Discovery of Witches, you heard it here first.

Alex: Yep, those are my reccs, yes!

Xiao-Xiao: Lovely! Well thank you so much, Alex, for joining us here on The Brief today it’s been so great to hear from you.

Alex: Oh it’s so nice to chat and really I am very passionate about talking to law students about careers in the arts. At the moment I have three interns and two of them are third-year law students and I’m really… I’m trying to do that catch and release program, I’m trying to pull you out of law, as worthy as it is, and go, ‘Here, here is a career in the Arts! Where you’ll be very happy but very poor.’ 

Xiao-Xiao: I feel like a lot of law students will definitely welcome it. 

Alex: Good, but also… my final message would be to follow your dreams and that’s…. Like it feels riskier in so many other ways but if it ends up with a really exciting and fun life like, what else have we got? Go and do it!

Xiao-Xiao: Such an important message, especially to a lot of law students that may not necessarily know what they want to do in the future. That’s been so great to hear though, thank you so much Alex, again.

Alex: No, absolute pleasure, thanks for having me on! Good luck everybody!

OUTRO

Leah Alysandratos (FAME Careers and Sponsorship Coordinator): You’ve been listening to The Brief with FAME LSA. This episode was hosted by Xiao-Xiao Kingham. The theme song and sound was produced by Leah Alysandratos. A very big thank you to Alexandra Adsett for chatting with us. Special thanks to Xiao-Xiao Kingham for producing the transcript available on our website. Thanks also to all past and present FAME LSA committee members and ambassadors for their support. And thanks to you for listening! 

If you want to hear or learn more about FAME LSA, like us on Facebook and Instagram, or visit our website at famelsa.com. If you’re a lawyer working in the film, art, media, publishing or entertainment space and want to get involved with FAME, we’d love to hear from you. Send us an email at the new address, careers@famelsa.com..

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